Are You Feeling Anxious?

In this current climate, there has been an alarming increase in anxiety, which is quite understandable and completely natural. In this week's guest blog, reflexologist, Nicola Fox, shares her advice.

We use the broad term of feeling ‘anxious’ when experiencing:
 
·      Racing thoughts
·      Sick feeling in the stomach
·      Frog in the throat
·      Fast heartbeat
·      Constant worrying
·      Lack of focus & concentration
·      Lack of sleep
·      Unable to control emotions
·      Headaches
·      Panic attacks 

This list does not, by any means, include all the signs and symptoms that you may be experiencing but demonstrates that anxiety can show itself in many forms, both emotionally and or physically.  These may last for a short period of time, others may come and go, and some may be constant for long periods of time.
 
Prolonged periods of experiencing ‘anxiety symptoms’ have long-term effects on your body.  Therefore, it is important that right now you begin to identify:
 
·      Your own personal thoughts, feelings, and physical changes.
·      How often are you experiencing them?
·      What are they triggered by?
·      How do you cope with them? Do you cope with them?
·      How are they affecting you? Your family?

It is not easy, but being able to understand how you react to anxiety is so important in taking the next steps to find the right coping strategies for you. What works for one symptom may not work for another, you need to build your own ‘personal tool kit’.
 
Here are a few to get you started:
 
* 10-deep breaths, breathe in for 3 seconds and out for 4 seconds – not only does this slow down the heart rate and breathing, it signals to the brain to let it know you are ‘safe’.
* Low intensity exercise outside for approx. 30-35 minutes 3-5 times a week for example walking or cycling.  It takes time for changes to occur, being consistent and persevering with exercise can make a difference this can be up to 10-12 weeks.
* Keep a daily diary, consider all the points I mentioned earlier, make sure you also include the positive feelings you experience.  Read back monthly and reflect, what improvements have there been? What has been your triggers? What symptoms have increased? Why? What can you do differently next month? What are you going to continue with?
* Write down a list of everything you need to do that day, order them in importance? Make sure they are achievable, tick off when you have completed them.  This can help clear your mind, you can do this in an evening before bedtime to reduce the thoughts going around your head.  Have a pen and paper at your bedside and jot down your thoughts, inspirations, worries.
* Have a set bedtime routine, have 15- 30-minutes before bedtime for ‘you time’ read, listen to calming music, make sure the lights are dim.  Avoid being on your phone’s, iPads, laptop or TV these keep your mind active.  When it’s time to go to sleep, focus on your breathing, try counting to 10, breathe in for 1, out for 2 up to 10, then start back at 1 up to 10.  Slow your breath down each time.  As we sleep our brain process the information we have taken in during the day, that is why having a good night’s sleep can help us to think more clearly the next day.
* Research natural complimentary therapies e.g. reflexology, massage, aromatherapy, reiki, hypnotherapy.  Which one resonates with you, find a therapist you can relate to, who you could trust.  Find out what they offer and how it could help you, what specifically would you like support with? Regular sessions can be a huge benefit in supporting your anxiety. 

For further information on how reflexology can be implemented in to your ‘personal tool kit’ as a coping strategy you can email to book a 1:1 chat at 
nicola@refoxology.co.uk or visit the following links:
 
https://m.facebook.com/refoxology/

www.linkedin.com/in/nicolarefoxology

www.refoxology.co.uk
 
Nicola

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